Pink Alpaca

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I'm back

Hello, knitting world.

After a long hiatus, I'm knitting again. Not sure if anyone still reads this, but I thought I would try to get it running again.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in September 2007. It probably developed years before that, but it wasn't until my hair started falling out that I began to wonder if something was wrong. Went to the doctor, began taking the medication for it, and it took over a year to get the dosage right. In the meantime, I continued experiencing the symptoms: extreme fatigue, dry skin, memory issues, weight gain, and random hair loss. The fatigue was ridiculous. I was so tired that I couldn't even get ready in the morning without taking breaks. Shower, lay down, dry my hair, lay down, put on makeup, lay down. That and the memory issues were the reason my knitting faltered. I just couldn't concentrate enough. I'd get in the middle of a row, and completely forget what I was doing. I made mistake after mistake after mistake. Knitting became frustrating, not relaxing, and I had to put it aside.

But I got better. ("She turned me into a newt!" "I got better.") And now that I feel better, I'm able to knit again and have fun doing it. Last month I finished two baby hats for a friend, and tonight I went to a local knitting group.

I think my thyroid is under control. My hair is getting thicker again, and my energy is so much better. I don't know if I'll ever lose all the weight that I gained, but I've lost some, and that is encouraging. I can't remember the last time I felt this good.

I'll wait and see if anyone still reads this thing. If not, I may close it, so please leave a comment if you stop by. Thanks!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Home again

I'm back from my travels, and it feels good to be home. I should be staying put for a while. Last August hubby and I traveled to London. In October we drove to Austin for a convention. Spring Break took us to NYC with some students, and in May we drove to Chicago and Michigan. We capped off this year of traveling by taking our high school students to Seattle.

Here's a shot from Seattle's Golden Gardens at sunset:

More photos to come later!

And yes, this post does have some knitting content...

I stumbled into a nice yarn shop somewhere by the pier in Seattle. It was called "So Much Yarn..." Sitting on the chair behind the counter was the most adorable French Bulldog. Her little tongue was just hanging out of her mouth while she napped. We were with a group so I couldn't loiter in the shop. So after rushing around to see their inventory, I bought some Plymouth Baby Alpaca in hopes of making a new hat for myself. I'd take a photo but my camera is full - need to dump out all my Seattle photos. So back to my travels...

By my rough estimate, we've traveled about 16,000 miles by land and air in less than one year. Maybe more, if you include side trips to places like Oxford, or Anacortes, WA. I know other people in this world travel even more than that, but for me it was a little strange to be preparing for trips all the time. It will be nice to stay in one place for a while, not worrying about luggage, packing, unpacking, laundry and such.

Though I'm sure in about 6 weeks I'll be ready to go again. It's hard for me to sit still for long.

Some people buy fancy cars, purses, shoes, jewelry, clothes and houses. But me? I'd rather travel. I buy a dress from Anthropologie every once in a while, and I like to go to nice restaurants. But once I save up any decent sum of money, the first thing I think of is, "Where can I go next?" We could use some new floors and sure, it would be nice to pay off my car. I'd love to have a cool new tv and audio system, or a new computer. But gosh... London is calling my name. Or maybe the Caribbean... I've never been there.

Fashion is fleeting. The new house or car I want so badly will eventually become the annoying, run-down thing I want to get rid of. Technology is obsolete before I get it out of the box. But my travels, the places I've seen, the people I meet, the experiences I have - those are forever. Maybe that's why I like to knit. It's something I spend time with, even travel with, and then I get to pass it on to someone who will hopefully enjoy it for years to come. I know the things I knit won't last forever, but hopefully the friendship and care behind them will last in people's memories.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

yup, still here

I haven't posted in quite a while. When I started this new blog I didn't want to get in the habit of going weeks without posting. But, honestly, I haven't knitted in over a month. (That scares me!) So when you have a knitting blog, that means you're out of stuff to post. I think I'm just overwhelmed - so many of my friends are pregnant! Three friends are due within one or two weeks of each other. What to do?

So I think I just need to head to the yarn store and get started.

Life is going well. Working from home is challenging during the summer - sometimes I just want to drop everything and go swimming. But it's been raining like crazy here! We have flooding in our county, but luckily all we're dealing with is a soggy yard and a few big puddles scattered around it. I heard on the news that we've almost reached our average annual rainfall total. Last year we were in total drought. Fires everywhere. Go figure.

Ok, I'm going to go now. I promise I'll go knit something and get back to regular posting.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mitered purse

Last summer, Mason-Dixon Knitting inspired me to make a mitered-square tote bag - a panel of 4 squares on each side. And I wanted it to be in those crazy colors that I remember from those 90s windbreaker suits. I started running out of yarn, so it became a clutch.

Sorry I didn't post photos as I went along. I never think to do that. And I knit these squares off-and-on throughout 2006. (One was created on the way to Atlanta last summer.) Next time I do a mitered square I'll take a couple pics. It really is interesting to see how they come together. They're easier than they look.

Basically I seamed together 4 mitered squares, then mattress-stitched them up the sides. I picked up 6 stitches along one edge, knit a garter stitch strap, bound off the strap and then stitched it to the other side.

I'm toying with the idea of felting it. Anyone have an opinion on that?

I'll add a liner when it's all said and done so that it won't buckle when I carry it. Maybe it needs a zipper, too...

Cascade 220, colors... um, I forgot
US size 6, Denise Interchangeables

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

here comes the busy season

And so it begins. Seems like life gets zany right around the time of my birthday. Something to do nearly every weekend. Lots of projects at work. Summer youth group schedule is being ironed out.

We've got a trip to Chicago coming up. Going there for a wedding and then we're going to see some much-missed friends. Then we'll be prepping for our 11-day trip to Seattle this summer. Summer. It's just around the corner, and it seems like Christmas was yesterday.

Summer is a strange time for knitting. It's a time when a lot of people put away their yarn and don't even think of knitting until they smell that first hint of autumn in the air. Others trade wool for cotton and work on tank tops. Me... well, I guess I use the time to work on accessories for me and my house. I play with purse patterns. They're small and knitting them won't give me heatstroke on those icky Texas summer days.

I'm thinking of trying needle felting. I also want to attempt my first adult-sized sweater, so if I start on it in June maybe it'll be finished by the first cold snap. (No danger of that... last year it didn't get cold here till January-ish.) And a couple of my friends are having babies, so I'd better get started on their gifts.

Oh, I almost forgot. My niece finally fits into the cardigan that I knit her, and she wore it last week. I still can't believe that I knit it. If you haven't seen it, it's in the archives somewhere, called "Sophie's Cardi" or something like that. She looked really cute in it and I forgot to take a picture. I had to wash it for her so, when I take it back, I'll be sure to take a couple. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I finally finished something! For the last 6 weeks or so I've been working on Argosy, a scarf pattern from It's not yet blocked, but I wanted to post pictures before I forgot. I can't wait to pin out the right angles and enjoy the simple lace pattern.

Alas, I lost the ballband for this yarn. It was 100% wool, worsted weight. Hand-dyed. Might have been Peruvian. I love how the colors striped throughout the pattern.

I finished Argosy somewhere in the air between Atlanta and NYC. When we arrived in NY, it was quite chilly and windy. Wrapped British-style, Argosy was fairly warm. But I needed to quadruple-wrap it around my neck when we were on an evening cruise around the harbor - the wind pierced through the wool quite easily. It probably has more to do with the yarn than with the pattern. For some reason, it just didn't fluff up very much. Maybe a gentle wash and quick blocking will do the trick.

I'm giving this one away as a gift, but plan to knit another one for myself. I just love this pattern! But... I know if I go straight into this pattern again I will get bored. It's my nature. I think I need to find something else to keep me occupied. Maybe I should start my first adult-sized sweater in hopes of finishing it by November...


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Still here

Sorry for the long absence. I was swamped with work. Each day I used up all my words on lesson materials and executive summaries. Anyhoo...

I'm working on the Argosy scarf pattern from It's nearly finished, so it wouldn't make much sense to post a photo if I'm going to post the official/finished photo in a couple of days.

We're going to NYC this weekend! We're chaperoning our local high school's choir trip. Seventy students. Fifteen adults. I can't wait! Will write more about it and post pics when we get back. And don't even think about toilet-papering our house - someone's watching it.